Tag Archives: Babies

Wall Street Journal covers the demographic crisis in America

Mary sent me this socially conservative article in the Wall Street Journal.

Excerpt:

The nation’s falling fertility rate underlies many of our most difficult problems. Once a country’s fertility rate falls consistently below replacement, its age profile begins to shift. You get more old people than young people. And eventually, as the bloated cohort of old people dies off, population begins to contract. This dual problem—a population that is disproportionately old and shrinking overall—has enormous economic, political and cultural consequences.

[…]Low-fertility societies don’t innovate because their incentives for consumption tilt overwhelmingly toward health care. They don’t invest aggressively because, with the average age skewing higher, capital shifts to preserving and extending life and then begins drawing down. They cannot sustain social-security programs because they don’t have enough workers to pay for the retirees. They cannot project power because they lack the money to pay for defense and the military-age manpower to serve in their armed forces.

[…]If you want to see what happens to a country once it hurls itself off the demographic cliff, look at Japan, with a fertility rate of 1.3. In the 1980s, everyone assumed the Japanese were on a path to owning the world. But the country’s robust economic facade concealed a crumbling demographic structure.

The Japanese fertility rate began dipping beneath the replacement rate in 1960 for a number of complicated reasons (including a postwar push by the West to lower Japan’s fertility rate, the soaring cost of having children and an overall decline in the marriage rate). By the 1980s, it was already clear that the country would eventually undergo a population contraction. In 1984, demographer Naohiro Ogawa warned that, “Owing to a decrease in the growth rate of the labor force…Japan’s economy is likely to slow down.” He predicted annual growth rates of 1% or even 0% in the first quarter of the 2000s.

From 1950 to 1973, Japan’s total-factor productivity—a good measure of economic dynamism—increased by an average of 5.4% per year. From 1990 to 2006, it increased by just 0.63% per year. Since 1991, Japan’s rate of GDP growth has exceeded 2.5% in only four years; its annual rate of growth has averaged 1.03%.

Because of its dismal fertility rate, Japan’s population peaked in 2008; it has already shrunk by a million since then. Last year, for the first time, the Japanese bought more adult diapers than diapers for babies, and more than half the country was categorized as “depopulated marginal land.” At the current fertility rate, by 2100 Japan’s population will be less than half what it is now.

If the Wintery Knight blog stands for anything it stands for 1) defending Christianity with reasons and evidence and 2) promoting fusionism, which is the view that social conservatives and fiscal conservatives are allies who need to understand each other’s views so that we can work together. Well, fiscal conservatives, now you know that social conservative issues are your problem. Conservativism is a seamless garment.

How rational are leftist fears of overpopulation and food shortages?

Three nice short videos introduce the issues of overpopulation and the demographic crisis.

Overpopulation:

Demographics:

Food Production:

I actually have talked to some people who believe these myths, and I have developed a theory about what sorts of childhood experiences cause them to form these beliefs.

More importantly, I’ve also noticed that anxiety over these myths can manifest itself publicly in support for policies like taxpayer-funded abortion and global warming. The people who worry most about counter-factual doomsday predictions are Democrats.

Consider the connections between abortion, global warming, mass sterilizations, and overpopulation fears in the thinking of Barack Obama’s science czar John Holdren in the links below. His belief in these myths will be affecting public policy.

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    Yale University study shows that babies know right from wrong at 6 months

    Story here in the UK Daily Mail. (H/T Wes Widner, Muddling Towards Maturity)

    Excerpt:

    At the age of six months babies can barely sit up – let along take their first tottering steps, crawl or talk.

    But, according to psychologists, they have already developed a sense of moral code – and can tell the difference between good and evil.

    An astonishing series of experiments is challenging the views of many psychologists and social scientists that human beings are born as ‘blank slates’ – and that our morality is shaped by our parents and experiences.

    Instead, they suggest that the difference between good and bad may be hardwired into the brain at birth.

    In one experiment involving puppets, babies aged six months old showed a strong preference to ‘good’ helpful characters – and rejected unhelpful, ‘naughty’ ones.

    In another, they even acted as judge and jury. When asked to take away treats from a ‘naughty’ puppet, some babies went further – and dished out their own punishment with a smack on its head.

    Professor Paul Bloom, a psychologist at Yale University in Connecticut, whose department has studied morality in babies for years, said: ‘A growing body of evidence suggests that humans do have a rudimentary moral sense from the very start of life.

    ‘With the help of well designed experiments, you can see glimmers of moral thought, moral judgment and moral feeling even in the first year of life.

    Muddling writes:

    Is anyone reminded of Romans 2:15 “… the work of the law is written on their hearts…“?   Cf. J. Budziszewski’s Written on the Heart: The Case for Natural Law,  and his other book, What We Can’t Not Know.

    I guess now is as good a time as any to link to the scheming unborn baby post.

    Canadian columnist David Warren on abortion evasions and euphemisms

    This column from Canada’s 3rd best columnist is pure candy. Yum! (H/T ECM)

    Excerpt:

    I have before me a packet of cigarettes with a Health Canada message in capital letters that reads: “Cigarettes hurt babies.” The text underneath this begins, “Tobacco use during pregnancy reduces the growth of babies.” Since an accompanying photograph further shows a pregnant woman smoking, it was unnecessary to specify “unborn.” Similarly, when we are discussing abortion, it is unnecessary to specify that the babies in question are “unborn.”

    Indeed, the refusal to use plain language, the substitution of euphemisms and rhetorical evasions, is an infallible indicator that a speaker or writer feels uncomfortable with the truth.

    Consider for instance the proposition, “a woman’s right to control her own body.” Not even men believe this, and a pregnant woman, who actually believes that the baby she is carrying is part of her own body, should wait for it to kick. Perhaps she has an astoundingly primitive notion of biology; but I should think even a woman of subnormal intelligence would understand the difference between what is in that bump she is carrying, and what is in the rest of her flesh. To wit: a different person.

    I have myself had the experience of sitting inside a car. And yet even in the moment I was doing so, I did not consider myself to be a car, or part of a car. Nor — had the car the mind of a pro-active feminist — would I consider it had the right to do what it wished with its own body, if that involved tossing me out on the highway.

    You know, if an unborn baby really were part of the woman’s body, then she would have four eyes, four arms, four legs and two noses! And imagine if it were a male baby! What then?

    It makes no sense to talk about a woman have a right to control her own body when the unborn has a completely different DNA signature than the mother. The time for controlling her own body was before she consented to have sex with a man who was not fully invested in having a child to take care of. There are lots of things for men and women to do to express love without taking unnecessary risks with other people’s lives.

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    MUST-SEE: Adult stem cells cure child with sickle cell anemia

    Amazing story! (H/T BioEdge via ECM)

    My previous posts on ASCR

    Previous posts on abortion